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Date with a celeb: Singer Santana meets fan

Santana (L) meets Sserwanga. PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWEIt’s not everyday that you find a lawyer opting to join the music industry but Santana, real name Allan Keith Gitta did so and is one of the most sought after new school artistes of the moment. He meets his fan Julien Sserwanga and tells him about his musical journey.

Hi Santana. I have a good number of questions I would like to ask you. Why did you choose to use the name Santana?
I was intrigued by legendary guitarist, Carlos Santana and an American rapper, Jewells Santana. So I decided to borrow the name. If there could be a Caribbean and South American

Santana, why not have an African one? How do you define your type of music?
I do a fusion of humour and poetry or rhythmic flow of music blended with hip hop culture.

You are new on the music scene, how many songs do you have so far?
I have so far released seven songs off my 16 track album like Nembelyabila, Beautiful, Oyogela Bubi and Byagezesa, among others.

Of all careers, why did you go for music?
My philosophy of life is that no one was put in this world to master one art. I feel that’s undermining one’s potential. I went to law school making me a professional lawyer, but I started writing songs at an early age. So, joining the music industry was basically out of passion.

Do you practice law?
At some point. I’m more of a contractual lawyer.

Among your songs, which is your best?
My songs are like my children. I love them equally but the one that touches me the most is Luliba Olwo, my latest song about hope.

Who is your best Ugandan artiste?
Being an artiste who sings about things that affect society, I would go for the late Philly Bongole Lutaaya and Afrigo Band.

What is your view about the recent spats between artistes and DJs, with artistes calling upon DJs to be patriotic and play Ugandan music and DJs asking artistes to produce quality music if they want their songs played? 
They say “charity begins at home”. By playing more of Ugandan music, we are exporting our talent to the rest of the world. No one is going to help you nurture your child. You have to do it on your own.

The bone of contention is that DJs are playing more of Nigerian than Ugandan music. What is the difference between Ugandan and Nigerian music according to you?
Ugandan music is copied from countries like the US and Jamaica yet Nigerian music is inbred. It’s original but lately, they are also digging into Congolese music especially the beats. Nigerian music is more organised, commercialised, professionalised and legalised.

What is your target audience?
The whole world. Because I’m multi-lingual, I see my career progressing to an audience of all races.

How much do you charge to perform at a function?
That depends on the location and type of event but to break it down for you, I charge between Shs600,000 and Shs1.5m around Kampala and between Shs1.5m and Shs3.5m outside Kampala.

Are you married?
No. I’m single.

Who is your ideal woman?
Some one intelligent, one I can interact with freely, someone with a good sense of humour, one that can challenge me daily, beautiful, principled and generally loving.

For how long have you been doing music?
I started music in 2010 in a group called 100 Acres of which I’m the CEO. It’s a record label based on developing talent, franchising items like T-shirts and caps. The group has other artistes like Glenn Fame, J-Austins, Big ST and MIC.

What plans do you have for us this year?
More music, developing talent and I am planning an album release this year. We are also expanding into events management, bars and transport.

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